Poku cuddles up to Tyler after vital penalty save

HATTERS midfielder Godfrey Poku admitted he gave goalkeeper Mark Tyler a ‘big cuddle’ after the Town stopper saved Ryan Bowman’s stoppage time penalty against Darlington on Tuesday night, writes Mike Simmonds.

Thursday, 15th March 2012, 8:00 am

Poku, who was making his first start since April 2011, had already given away a spot-kick that Bowman converted, before he was penalised at the death for a foul on the goalscorer.

Bowman stepped up once more and opted to go the same way, but Tyler guessed right to make a comfortable save.

Poku said: “Tyles has got good experience, one of their players said ‘always go the same way’ and I think he heard that.

“He knows about the game. I’m just glad that he saved it and I gave him a big cuddle after the game.

“My heart had dropped and I was just glad he was there to save the penalty.”

Tyler himself wasn’t surprised that Bowman chose to try and score in the same corner as he said: “It was obvious where he was going on the second one.

“If I was taking it again I’d have smashed it down the middle, but that’s his opportunity missed.

“I think he was waiting for me to dive first, so I tried to stay still as long as possible and thankfully I went the right way and held on to it.”

The tenacious Poku didn’t speak in such glowing terms about the decision to award a second spot-kick against him as it looked like Town would suffer another away defeat, just moments after Stuart Fleetwood had equalised.

He continued: “The first one I could accept, the second one I will never accept it, but that’s football.

“For the first, I can say that I think I was the wrong side of him, he ran through and I was a bit too late.

“I did get a bit of the ball and he did kick my feet but he went down and the ref was always going to give a pen.

“The second though, no chance at all. He dived on me, so I was in front of the ball and he just dived over me, but the ref said it was a penalty.

“I was just devastated, but we’ve got Tyles, he’s a fantastic keeper and got us out of trouble really.”

After spending three months on loan at Southport earlier in the season, playing 23 games to earn rave reviews, Poku has been restricted to just one substitute appearance for Town since his return until Tuesday night.

He said: “It’s been very frustrating for me but I always have to be patient as I’m still a young lad.

“The gaffer always had faith in me and has said if I keep on working hard and keep on learning, I’ll get a chance.”

If he continues to perform as he did in midweek, then Poku will definitely push himself into first-team consideration as barring the two penalties, he was without doubt the standout performer for Town.

He added: “That is my game. I’ve just got high enthusiasm and like to get about the pitch and try to be as busy as possible. I try to get on the ball as well and play.

“That’s all I can do. If the manager picks me that’s good, if not I have to keep on working hard and doing the best I can for the club.”

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